Nicklaus defends Watson's Ryder Cup captaincy


It seems that not everyone is ready to pin the recent Ryder Cup loss on U.S. captain Tom Watson.

Jack Nicklaus knows what it's like to win and lose a Ryder Cup as a captain, and according to the 18-time major champion the better team won.

"The (Europeans) just played better," Nicklaus told the Palm Beach Post. "It doesn't make any difference how much planning you do, if the other team plays better, they're going to win."

While many have been quick to blame the 65-year-old Watson, who captained the U.S. to victory in 1993 but appeared out of touch with his players last month at Gleneagles, Nicklaus believes Watson did a "pretty good job."

The fallout from the loss - the third in a row for the U.S., and eighth in the last 10 - has been rather public, and this week the PGA of America announced the formation of an 11-person task force to reevaluate the entire U.S. Ryder Cup process.

According to Nicklaus, a victorious captain in 1983 who was on the losing end in 1987, the latest developments amount to an overreaction.

"When I had teams and guys had problems, we went back to the team room and talked about it. That's where the conversation should be," he said. "I feel the same about the task force thing. That's sort of overkill. We've had 70 years of the Ryder Cup, and it's gotten along just fine. The pendulum will swing back without making a monumental thing about it."